WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – The Biden Administration approved Thursday exports of liquefied gas from the Alaska LNG Project, a document revealed. This comes as the United States competes against Russia for the shipping of natural gas to Asia from the Arctic.
The Department of Energy has approved the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.'s (AGDC), project to export natural gas to countries where there is no free trade agreement between the United States and those countries.
The project, estimated at $39 billion, is expected to be operational in 2030 if all permits are obtained. The LNG would primarily be exported to Asian countries.
The Alaska LNG Project includes a liquefaction plant on the Kenai Peninsula, in southern Alaska, and a proposed pipeline of 807 miles (1300 km) to transport gas stuck in northern Alaska throughout the state.
Environmental groups have opposed the project for which Donald Trump's administration approved exports first. The Biden administration conducted an environmental assessment of the project and concluded that it had economic and security benefits for the international community. It also found that the opponents failed to demonstrate the exports did not serve the "public good."
The Biden administration amended the previous approval in order to prohibit the venting into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases carbon dioxide associated with this project.
An environmental group has criticized the decision.
Lukas Ross, from Friends of the Earth, said that Joe Biden's climate presidential is going off the rails.
Ross said that it was the U.S.'s second approval of a fossil fuel mega-project in just a few months.
Last month, the Biden administration approved ConocoPhillips' $7 billion Willow oil-and-gas drilling project on Alaska North Slope.
The first of three LNG lines in the Arctic LNG-2 Project, one of the largest LNG facilities in the world, is expected to be completed by the end 2023.
The Biden administration wants to increase U.S. exports of LNG in order to compete with Russia, which is traditionally the largest energy exporter.
The West has sanctioned Russia for its invasion in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the U.S. increased LNG exports to Europe following Moscow's decision to cut off gas pipeline shipments.